lessons in love wedding ceremony
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Lessons in Love | Things I learned as a wedding photographer

As wedding photographers we get to be around a lot of couples, families, and parties. It makes for great entertainment and is also like taking lessons in love. I am forever grateful to our couples for the things they have taught me, but more on that in another post.

For now, I want to share some of the things that I have learned about love and weddings from my position behind the lens.

lessons in love

Before I get serious, one fun little detail we’ve noticed is that we can often predict how many kids a couple wants. The quantity of kids a couple wants is the average of how many siblings they each had. For example, if one has two sibling and the other has two, then they want plan for two kids and if one has four siblings and the other has one, then they’re thinking about 2 maybe 3.

Now, since that official research has you itching for more, I will go a little deeper. People say that weddings bring out the best and the worst in people. That may be true do to the stress, pressure, and expectations that a wedding can cause.

On the other hand, a wedding is a celebration of love in this moment and a commitment for the future.  It is a day full of appreciation for the past, joy in the present, and hope for what’s ahead. The experience of the day is important to me because those memories will help motivate us to work to turn that hope into reality.

Below are some lessons on love that are easily witnessed on a wedding day. I hope they encourage you to highlight your strengths, be your own biggest fan, embrace the crazy, laugh at yourself, and love fearlessly.

lessons in love - you are beautiful

1. Accentuate the things you love about yourself rather than covering up the things you hate.

The happiest brides we see are the ones that are comfortable in their own skin. They pick a wedding dress that compliments their personal style and they use make-up to highlight their best features. They recognize that their groom loves them as they are and would marry them in jeans and a t-shirt.

Sure, getting fit before a wedding is a popular goal. Losing weight because you are excited and want to look good and be healthy for your wedding is fair. However, we have to be careful not to slip into the mindset of feeling like we have to fix ourselves.

Ladies, you don’t NEED Spanks or airbrushed make-up. Choose it if you want it, not because you need it. You are beautiful as you are.

On a wedding day it’s easy to get swept up into the glitz and glam, after all, it’s a special day. When else do you sit for hours getting hair and make-up done? What other dress have you spent as much time hunting down?

The challenge becomes remembering that you are beautiful and your love is beautiful. Everything else is just there to highlight and compliment your love. Beautiful flowers and a stunning venue are great, but don’t feel like you have to compete with someone else’s wedding or what you see on Pinterest.

You are enough! Your love is enough! You could go to the courthouse, sign a piece of paper, and your vows would be just as meaningful.

lessons in love mirror wedding day

2. We are our own worst critics when we should be our own biggest fans

This might just be an extension of the previous topic but I have to mention it anyway. As a very involved and yet still somewhat outside observer I have a unique perspective on weddings. What I have determined is that we are our own worst critics.

I was discussing this with a friend and here’s what we decided. When we’re worrying that everyone thinks we “look fat in those pants” chances are they aren’t even thinking about us. And if they do happen to be, they’re actually thinking “I wonder if I would look fat in those pants.” We are much harsher towards ourselves than we are towards anyone else.

As photographers one of our biggest challenges is not making someone look beautiful in a photo. It is actually making them believe they look beautiful in a photo. For example, I think Marc is an amazing photographer that can somehow make everyone look stunning except for me.


What if instead, we looked at that face in the mirror with love and admiration? What if we were our own biggest fans? I love moments on the wedding day where a bride says, “I look and feel like a princess!”

lessons in love family

3. We all have crazy families

And how does the saying go? If you don’t think you have crazy in your family, you’re it!

We love meeting and getting to know the families of the couples we work with. It often explains a lot when you see siblings interacting or grandparents cutting it up on the dance floor. I think of my own parents when a mom is hugging her daughter or during that whole father daughter dance thing.

But no one has a perfect family. In fact I think it’s somewhere in the definition of family.

family – noun – A group of people, often sharing common ancestors, that has a lasting bond of love, support, and sharing of resources that transcends the crazy.

We love elopements when couples decide to do their own thing. However, we’ve also noticed a trend that even the couples that elope tend to have a celebration with their family and community at some point. There is something about letting others share in your joy that is a gift, even if it means putting up with the crazy.

Sometimes people are embarrassed to tell us about family dynamics but we’ve seen it all and it is never anything to be ashamed of!

lesson in love

4. Being able to laugh at yourself is a gift

Weddings can and will include drama and chaos. There is no better time to be able to laugh at yourself than when you’re getting roasted by your best friend in front of all of your loved ones. One of the beautiful things about a wedding is that when someone say’s “I do” they are saying yes to all of you.

They love you with all your eccentricities and unique traits. As couples, we may strive to grow together and perhaps there are things that we are working on. But in the meantime being able to laugh at ourselves and not take anything too seriously will help us enjoy the ride.

In some ways this relates back to being your own biggest fan and accentuating the things you love. When we laugh at ourselves we’re saying it doesn’t matter that we’re not perfect because we love ourselves anyway. Laughter and joy go hand-in-hand and are good qualities to infuse into a marriage.

lessons in love family wedding

5. Love is important

And lastly, I’ve learned that love is important. Perhaps this is obvious or predictable but this may be the most important thing that I’ve learned. Love is more than a feeling, it is a way of being in this world.

I love watching couples love each other in brave, vulnerable, and fearless ways. I see it in the way that love can conquer all of the obstacles I mentioned above. Love allows us to laugh at ourselves, embrace the crazy, be our biggest fan, accentuate our strengths, and it allows us to do the same for the one that we love.

We meet couples and we get to know them both individually and together. We see how they fit and how they compliment each other. It’s amazing to witness the things couples have in common and the ways in which they are different.

In truth, what’s amazing to see is the couples that make each other better not because they are lacking and need someone to complete them but because when we love someone we grow. Sometimes it’s a shared experience that leads a couple to a common goal. Other times it’s one partner encouraging and supporting the other through a tough time or to follow a dream.

At a wedding the centerpieces or appetizers aren’t really that important, sometimes delicious but not important. What’s important is seeing couples commit to do the work of loving each other. It makes them better at love in general.

lessons in love conclusions

  1. accentuate the things you love rather than covering up the things you hate
  2. be your own biggest fan rather than your own worst critic
  3. we all have crazy families
  4. being able to laugh at yourself is a gift
  5. love is important

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We are Marc and Brenda Bergreen, a husband and wife photography team specializing in outdoor weddings and other adventures. Capturing people in nature and the mountain lifestyle is a passion that became a dream that became a life.

Based in Evergreen, CO we travel throughout the state as Colorado adventure wedding photographers. We also frequently travel to California and other wedding destinations to document love and adventure in a variety of memorable settings. Don’t hesitate to contact us and let us know how we can help! Be sure to follow us (weddings instagram & adventures instagram) and/or like us (facebook) to stay tuned.

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